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AKA: Koutetsu Tenshi Kurumi 2-shiki
Genre: Robot maid / action / comedy
Length: Television series, 12 episodes, 15 minutes each
Distributor: R1 DVD from ADV Films; Currently Available Streaming on Crunchyroll.com
Content Rating: 17+ (sexuality, fan service, female-female infatuation)
Related Series: Steel Angel Kurumi
Also Recommended: Hand Maid May, Mahoromatic, Steel Angel Kurumi
Notes: There is no licensed version of this series available in Malaysia, where the reviewer resides. Therefore, this review is based on a fansubbed version.
Rating: Two StarsTwo Stars

Steel Angel Kurumi 2

Synopsis

Nako is a descendant of Kagura Nakahito from the original Steel Angel Kurumi, and together with her mother, they take care of the family temple. She is in middle school and plays the cello. One day, she explores the temple's cellar with her childhood friend Uruka, and they accidentally activate a stone statue that chases them around. It eventually breaks open, to reveal ... Kurumi Mark 2! With a big "Kyuu~~~~in", the Steel Angels return seventy-five years later! What is the purpose behind their activation? What does Nako have to do with all this? What is everyone to do with three beautiful and cute girls around?

... Be afraid.


Review

Just like the bubblegum that never peels off your shoe, Kurumi and gang return to ooze cuteness all over us once again!

(scream)

I never really understood the appeal behind Steel Angel Kurumi, but I thought that since it was able to spawn a sequel, it did have its appeal to large segment of the anime market. Granted, MD Geist has a sequel too, but ... let's leave that for another time. Anyway, anyone who is familiar with Kurumi will recognize the sugary squeal that is her trademark, and upon hearing it you have two choices: sit down and watch, or flee in terror.

Picking the former, I sat down with *great* hesitation. Okay, so maybe I was overreacting, since Steel Angel Kurumi wasn't that bad after all. While it was full of fan service and bouncing boobies, it did have a rather interesting plot for a title in its genre and even though I swore not to watch it again, I won't go so far as to condemn it to obscurity.

So I thought - I've seen all that Kurumi could offer. It can't get any worse, can it? Well, that depends on how you react to the next few sentences. The Steel Angels are activated by a kiss by someone, and they immediately call that person their master and follow them like faithful watchdogs. As explained in the synopsis, Kurumi is activated by Nako and after the resulting chaos settles down, declares Nako as her master. This, of course, draws the jealousy of Uruka, whose fantasies of sharing her first kiss with Nako are stolen from right under her nose.

... Now let's take a pause for a minute here. Just in case you were wondering, I did *not* get the genders wrong - they're all girls. Suck it in gently, please.

Now, Uruka plots to destroy Kurumi for stealing "her Nako" and in the process finds and activates Saki, Kurumi's younger sister. Saki then latches on to Uruka, but because she is related to Kurumi, is unable to fight them and this eventually leads to a really complicated love quadrangle group hug of doom, punctuated with bath scenes, boobie boing, and super-dee-duper cuteness. Kinda makes you want to scream AWESOME HOT LESB ... no, I'd better not.

At first glance, the character designs look simpler and slightly different from the original, but after a couple of scenes you'll notice that they've managed to keep about the same level of animation that was used previously. Characters do go into SD mode occasionally, and the overall colorful and bright-pinky palette accentuates the more comedic theme of this sequel. I won't say that it's anything to be terribly impressed with, but when Kurumi 2's nearest competiton is Mahoromatic, a GAINAX work, you don't go in expecting a whole lot.

However, stacking Kurumi 2 against Mahoromatic and even the original series will highlight the biggest flaw yet - the lack of a solid plot. Probably the biggest element that attracted people to those two titles was the scriptwriters' ability to weave a more serious/dramatic plot between the maid fluff, and actually giving a direction to it all. Being almost identical in length, Steel Angel Kurumi was half sugar, half serious action, but sadly, Kurumi 2 is just half sugar, half HOT GIRL X GIRL ACTION. Note that this isn't a bad thing - some titles work really well with not much of a plot, but Kurumi 2 just gives you the feeling that it's made primarily for viewers to watch girls hugging and glomping each other.

Nothing much has changed in the past seventy-five years, as you would eventually find out. Kurumi is her ever-cute self, Saki is ever-obliging, and Karinka is ever-bratty. Nako is as spineless as her ancestor, and shares all the same genes that he did, save the XY chromosome. All she can do is just sit around while the chaos ensues and mumble "This sucks". A very deep observation, coming from a lead character that merely functions as a pushover for the sake of entertainment.

That's about all there is to Kurumi 2. The plot is welded shut around watching the girls vie for Nako's attention at school, home and at cello lessons, and the story escalates to nothing more than an amplified version of all that. My guess is that the producers wanted to create something that pander to the tastes of the existing Kurumi fans. If you're a fan of the original, or just enjoy random cuteness, then this would probably be an enjoyable addition to your collection.

Don't worry about me - I'll be fine. I've just sworn to never watch this again. Ever.

The lack of a solid plot and the overuse of female infatuation makes Kurumi 2 difficult to appeal to anyone other than fans of the original series. Add two stars if you liked Steel Angel Kurumi, or enjoy random cuteness. Also remember that Kyuuu~~~in is PAIN.Enoch Lau

Recommended Audience: Aside from the obvious AWESOME HOT LESB ... I mean, romantic affection showered upon Nako, there are also bath scenes involving upper body nudity, and a medium dosage of fan service. Certainly not for kids, because parents will have a hell of a time explaining why a bunch of girls are getting the hots for each other.

(It's not a surprise, considering the lack of a major male character to get hot on.)



Version(s) Viewed: Prerelease fansub
Review Status: Full (12/12)
Steel Angel Kurumi 2 © 2002 Kaishaku / Kadokawa Shoten - PONY CANYON
 
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